Message from the President
Gregory A. Smith, MD, QME

If you have chronic pain, I already know much of your story. Chronic pain patients suffer in many ways. The pain itself slowly destroys the life of the patient and often destroys marriages, friendships, finances and the way a patient interacts with the world. Patients are often treated like drug addicts by doctors, pharmacies and loved ones. Chronic pain is in my opinion the most difficult medical problem to live with. It truly affects all aspects of a person’s life. read more

What is chronic pain and why is it so difficult to treat?

Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists longer than 3-6 months. Unlike acute pain (pain that signals something is wrong and needs to be corrected; such as touching a hot stove or chest pain from a heart attack), chronic pain serves no positive purpose. The longer chronic pain persists, the more difficult it becomes to treat. This is for 2 main reasons. First chronic pain causes changes in the nervous system that often makes the perception of pain worse and can spread to other parts of the body that were never originally affected. Many chronic pain patients who may have persistent low back pain may start to suffer from neck pain or leg pain over time despite the lack of injury at the new location.

The second main reason chronic pain becomes more difficult to treat over time is due to the collateral problems that arise from the pain. Problems such as depression, insomnia, headaches, weight gain and memory loss cause the entire chronic pain experience to be that much more unbearable...
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Helpful Resources
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Opioid (narcotic) dependence/addiction is a disease in which there are biological or physical, psychological, and social changes.
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Chronic Pain-Related Weight Gain
Weight gain and obesity is major problem in our society in general. However patients with chronic pain are even at greater risk than the general population for weight gain.
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Out of town and International Patients
Will you be coming from out of town? We can set-up appointments for you. Patients that are coming from a distance for treatment and require assistance with airfare and/or hotel accommodations should call: 310-641-1970. We can make all your travel arrangements and lodging at discounted rates. Call or Click below to contact us.
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